CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 34,443,527 and the nation’s death toll stands at 610,891, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. has averaged about 43,700 new cases per day over the past week, which was up 65 percent over the previous seven days and nearly three times as high as the level two weeks ago. Highest daily averages were recorded in Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Florida and Nevada… White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. is headed in the “wrong direction” on the pandemic, leaving him feeling “very frustrated.” During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci warned of the threat particularly to unvaccinated people as inoculation rates have slowed amid the spread of the contagious Delta variant.
KINZINGER JOINS HOUSE JAN. 6 PANEL… Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has accepted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s appointment to the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He joins Wyoming Congesswoman Liz Cheney as the only Republicans on the panel. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled Republicans off the committee last week after Pelosi vetoed his selections of Congressmen Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, due to their response to the attack.
CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER BOB MOSES DIES… Civil rights leader Bob Moses, who achieved notoriety while organizing voting rights campaigns in Mississippi in the 1960s, died at his nome in Hollywood, Florida, yesterday of undisclosed causes. He was 86. In 1964, Moses became the principal organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, which recruited college students to join with Black Mississippians to register Black voters and promote civil rights. Three activists on the campaign were killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan and local police weeks into the effort. In 1991, Moses founded the Algebra Project, a program that uses mathematics as an organizing tool to provide quality education to middle and high school students who previously performed in the lowest quartile on standardized exams.
WESTERN WILDFIRES… Wildfires in the West gained strength over the weekend as crews battled to get the upper hand. California’s largest wildfire, the two-week-old Dixie Fire, merged with the smaller Fly Fire on Saturday and tore through the Northern California community of Indian Falls. Firefighters say they managed to gain ground against the nation’s largest wildfire, the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, which was listed at 46-percent containment. The lightning-caused fire has burned 67 homes and left at least 2,000 others under evacuation orders.
POSSIBLE TORNADO LEAVES MICHIGANDERS IN THE DARK… More than 125,000 homes in Michigan were without power yesterday after a possible tornado touched down near Detroit on Saturday night. Substantial damage was reported in Macomb County. Winds as high as 88 mph were reported by meteorologists.
POP SMOKE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Pop Smoke’s second posthumous album, “Faith,” sold 88,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 album chart. John Mayer’s “Sob Rock” opened in second place with 84,000 units sold. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” slipped to third place on sales of 77,000 copies. Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” dropped to No. 4 with 59,000 units sold. Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” finished fifth after selling 44,000 copies.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE… “Old” took in $16.5 million to top the weekend box office. Another newcomer, “Snake Eyes,” debuted in second place with $13.3 million. “Black Widow” fell one spot to third place after bringing in $11.6 million. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” made $9.5 million to finish fourth. “F9: The Fast Saga” capped the top five with $4.7 million.
PHILADELPHIA 2 – Atlanta 1… Aaron Nola (7-6) took a shutout into the ninth inning and the Phillies turned away the Braves. Jean Segura and Ronald Torreyes homered for Philadelphia.
St. Louis 10 – CINCINNATI 6… Harrison Bader wet 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the Cardinals’ win over the Reds. Tyler O’Neill homered with a runner aboard. Drew Carlson and Nolan Arenado also went deep.
MIAMI 9 – San Diego 3…Magneuris Sierra doubled home a tie-breaking run and scored in the bottom of the fifth inning and Lewis Brinson belted a three-run homer to cap a five-run sixth. Deven Marrero and Brian Anderson smacked solo homers for the Marlins.
CHI. CUBS 5 – Arizona 1… Trevor Williams (4-2) pitched five-hit ball over six scoreless innings and the Cubs breezed past the Diamondbacks. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo homered during a three-run bottom of the first inning. David Bote added a two-run shot in the fourth.
SAN FRANCISCO 6 – Pittsburgh 1… Alex Wood (9-3) limited the Pirates to a run on five hits over 5-1/3 innings and the Giants handled the Pirates. LaMonte Wade hit two solo homers. Wilmer Flores and Thairo Estrada also went deep.
L.A. DODGERS 3 – Colorado 2… Chris Taylor hit two solo homers and Will Smith added a third in the bottom of the eighth inning to power the Dodgers past the Rockies. Five L.A. pitchers combined on a six-hitter.
CLEVELAND 3 – Tampa Bay 2… Bobby Bradley’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning scored with the go-ahead run and the Indians made it stand in edging the Rays. Cesar Hernandez homered for Cleveland.
BOSTON 5 – N.Y. Yankees 4… The Red Sox rallied to score all five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and stun the Yankees. Xander Bogaerts lifted a sacrifice fly to score Kiké Hernandez with the tie-breaking run after Hernandez doubled home a run.
KANSAS CITY 6 – Detroit 1… First-inning homers by Salvador Perez and Jorge Soler staked the Royals to a 4-0 first-inning lead and they coasted past the Tigers. Soler added a third-inning homer. Daniel Lynch (1-2) pitched five-hit ball over eight scoreless innings.
HOUSTON 3 – Texas 1… Zack Greinke (10-3) allowed just a run on five hits over six innings and the Astros clipped the Rangers. Abraham Toro connected for a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.
L.A. Angels 6 – MINNESOTA 2… Jaime Barria (1-0) held the Twins to two runs on four hits over seven innings. Shohei Ohtani belted his 35th homer. Max Stassi also went deep.
SEATTLE 4 – Oakland 3… Kyle Seager’s two-run single sparked a four-run bottom of the third inning that carried the Mariners past the Athletics. Marco Gonzales (3-5) allowed two runs on five hits over 5-2/3 innings.
BALTIMORE 5 – Washington 4… The Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to upend the Nationals. Pat Valaika’s sacrifice fly scored Maikel Franco with the tie-breaking run. Franco, Trey Mancini and Ryan McKenna hit solo homers for Baltimore.
N.Y. METS 5 – Toronto 4… Pete Alonso homered with a runner aboard and Jeff McNeil doubled home two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Mets held off the Blue Jays. Jonathan Villar had a couple of hits, including a run-scoring single.
Chi. White Sox 3 – MILWAUKEE 1… Starting pitcher Lance Lynn lined a two-run single as the White Sox scored all three runs in the top of the second inning and cruised past the Brewers. On the mound, Lynn (10-3) gave up a run on six hits over six innings.
TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Atlanta (Kyle Muller, 1-3; Bryse Wilson, 2-3) is at the N.Y. Mets (Marcus Stroman, 7-8; TBA) for a doubleheader…
Philadelphia (Spencer Howard, 0-2) hosts Washington (Joe Ross, 5-8)…
Cincinnati (Wade Miley, 8-4) is at the Chi. Cubs (Kyle Hendricks, 12-4)
Toronto (Thomas Hatch, 0-0) is at Boston (Nick Pivetta, 8-4)…
Kansas City (Mike Minor, 7-8) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Dallas Keuchel, 7-3)…
Detroit (Matt Manning, 2-3) is at Minnesota (Michael Pineda, 4-5)…
Seattle (Darren McCaughan, 0-0) hosts Houston (Luis Garcia 7-5)
Colorado (German Marquez, 8-7) is at the L.A. Angels (Shohei Ohtani, 4-1)
OLYMPICS DAY 2… The U.S. bounced back to win 10 medals yesterday on Day 2. of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Swimmers Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland won gold and silver, respectively, in the men’s 400-meter individual medley. Kieran Smith took bronze in the men’s 400 freestyle. Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger won silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s 400-meter individual medley. Will Shaner won gold in the men’s 10-meter air rifle event. His schoolmate at the University of Kentucky Wildcat Lee Kiefer took gold in women’s foil while Anastasija Zolotic captured the U.S. first-ever gold in women’s taekwondo. The U.S. finished second to Russia in women’s gymnastics team qualifying. The U.S. men’s basketball team fell to France 83-76 in its opening matchup.